Does your car have a nickname? Do you apologize to it when you bounce over a pothole? Do you imagine it’s besties with your best friend’s car? It’s only natural. We Houstonians are never very far away from our trusty automotive companions. Whether we have our lengthy commutes or mostly ourselves—walking? what’s that?—to blame, we spend countless hours in our SUVs and sedans. It’s a number that will only increase as our traffic congestion worsens: the Texas A&M Transportation Institute recently found that 4 of the top 10 most congested roads in the state are right here in Houston—and yes, the worst is the debacle at 610 and 59.

It all adds gravitas to any new-car purchase decisions we face. Of course you don’t want to waste a down payment on a car you’ll be cursing in another year, or get locked into a too-restrictive lease. But more than that, you want a car that you’re comfortable in, that reflects your identity, that fits your lifestyle and—in short—makes you happy on the way from point A to B. Enter Houstonia’s comprehensive car buyers’ guide, our bid to help you find your fit while understanding the latest high-tech advancements and even taking care of those poor H-Town-weary tires.

The one thing we didn’t cover? Driving that car off the lot like a Houstonian. Just remember: use your blinker, and give a quick wave.

In This Feature:

5 To Drive: Cars Designed with You in Mind

The biggest trend for the 2016 fleet of new vehicles? Personalization that starts in the driver’s seat.

11/03/2015 By Sarah Rufca Nielsen

Plugging Away: Tesla vs. Texas

As electric vehicle technology evolves, a battle is waged over how those cars may be sold across the state.

11/03/2015 By Nick Esquer

Meet Houston’s Famous First Lady of Car Sales

In a male-dominated industry, Carolyn Cross worked her way up from a typist to the big boss at the best dealerships in the country.

11/03/2015 By Katharine Shilcutt

Falling Flat

Stave off those near-inevitable flat tires with the best protection and services offered around town.

11/03/2015 By Nick Esquer

Is An EV Right For You?

Thinking of buying an electric vehicle? Here are some factors to consider.

11/03/2015 By Nick Esquer

Overhauling: 5 Fine Redesigns for 2016

Makeovers can be hit-or-miss, but these old favorites are looking better than ever.

11/03/2015 By Katharine Shilcutt

Is There Anything These New Cars Can’t Do?

It’s about more than what’s under the hood these days, and the new high-tech vehicle features just keep coming.

11/03/2015 By Jeff Balke